TL;DR —> I’m basically going for quality and workflow over quantity these days as I’m lazy and have ADD lol.
So here I am along with many of you still in quarantine. I realize that even with all this time on my hands, I still don’t have enough time, focus, drive, energy, and patience to get into all the machines I’ve ended up with over the past several years. Most of my gear is Elektron so that’s why I’m posting and asking here. I bought most of them when I had a good paying job (left the corporate world since). So here is what I have in my studio so far (I’ve marked with an asterisk * next to gear I plan to keep for sure)
- 2009 iMac (upgraded with SSD hard drive)
- 2010 MacBook Pro (upgraded with SSD hard drive)
- iPad 2018 *
- iPad 2 * (used to control Eventide H9)
- Bitwig Studio 2.2- Studio One 3 Pro
- Ableton Live 8 Suite (barely used)
- Sonarworks 3 (headphone and monitor correction) *
- Tons of iPad apps (i.e. Korg Gadget, Cubasis, Nave) *
Interfaces / Controllers
- MOTU UltraLite mk3 (firewire version - 8 in / 8 out)
- Keith McMillen K-Mix (digital mixer and audio interface)
- Keith McMillen QuNexus (mini-keyboard MIDI controller)
- Mackie Big Knob Passive (multi monitor controller)
- Zoom R16 (multitrack digital recorder)
- Vermona RackMix 8:2e (8 channel rack mixer [4 stereo channels]) *
- Elektron Analog Keys
- Elektron Octatrack mk1
- Elektron Analog RYTM mk1
- Elektron Digitone *
- Elektron Digitakt
- Yamaha FB-01 fm synth module *
- Modal CraftSynth 2.0 *
- Korg Volca Sample *
- Elektron Analog Heat mk1
- Eventide H9 Max
- Zoom MS-70CDR
- Korg Mini Kaoss Pad 2
- Equator d5
- HiVi X4 (Chinese Genelec ripoffs) *
- M-Audio DSM1 (aka “Adam killers”)
- AKG k702 *
- Denon AH-D600
- Sony MDR-V6 *
Despite having a lot of hardware, I’m not a hardware purist at all. In fact, over the past 2 years I’ve made most of my music on iPad then did the refinement and mixing in the DAW. I’ve used hardware for live shows though. As you can see, most of the gear I didn’t place an asterisk after so I’m open to getting rid of it. I’ve used the Octatrack, K-Mix, H9, Heat, and Kaoss Pad 2 only for live shows. The Octatrack was the main part of my live shows, but I’m not playing live at this time due to the lockdown. I still find the Octatrack a bit frustrating, unintuitive and I’m still not an expert in it. One of the reasons I never got into the RYTM, Analog Keys, and Digitakt is because I spent sooooo much time trying to tackle the Octatrack. Not sure it’s been worth it though. I love the Digitone though and it’s for sure a keeper. The HEAT hasn’t gotten much use aside from using it as a saturator and fattener for live shows.
The K-Mix, Heat and H9 are all $500 pieces of gear I’ve used when I played a show every few months. Not sure I need such expensive pieces of gear that are somewhat limited.
I’m thinking the weakest link in my chain is having such old computer computers despite the SSD drive upgrades. My MOTU is a workhorse but a bit long in the tooth. I’ve been eyeing the newer MOTU M4, SSL 2+, Audient EVO 4 despite only 2 or 4 channels versus my current one with 8. But I don’t like having a ton of gear on my desk at once anyway. Due to being unemployed I can only afford a newer a new computer (looking at Mac Mini 2018) if I sell some stuff.
I can use newer Overbridge 2.0 with my Elektrons. My computer is too slow for 24 bit with Overbridge so can only use limited number of channels and in 16 bit. As I said, I didn’t really get a chance to use the Digitakt, Analog Keys, RYTM and to an extent the Heat too much so unless I can be persuaded to keep them, I may sell them.
I’m a disorganized ADD person who has realized having too much stuff if not good. I made my most recent album using one app on iPad and then exported to the DAW for mixing. Some variety and some hardware is good for me, but not the amount I have - especially teh complexity and depth of Elektrons. That being said, the Elektron workflow makes sense to me as I learned the Octatrack first (big mistake) so I’m not intimidated by them. As far as the RYTM, I don’t want a bunch of cables coming from teh back and would like to use it via Overbridge or stereo out only (maybe Digitakt is better for me?).
Sorry, for the long post, but id you guys can help me decide what to keep and what to get rid of it would be helpful. Sell almost everything and just keep Digitone, Digitakt and get a Polyend Tracker instead?
Thanks for reading!